Representative Gene Green Calls Asks HHS to Address Funding Disparity for Harris County Head Start Programs
February 26, 2009
Washington, DC - Rep. Gene Green this week, joined by Representatives Al Green and Sheila Jackson-Lee, sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Charles Johnson requesting that Harris County Head Start programs receive a substantial increase in funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Houston serves the lowest percentage of eligible children compared to other cities in Texas and the nation,” said Rep. Green. “Recent passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has new dollars for Head Start expansion, and that money should go to dramatically underserved areas like Houston.”
A 2005 comparison of the nation’s most populous areas conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that Harris County served 6,649 children compared to the 29,000 children served by Los Angeles County, 20,000 served by Cook County, and 24,000 served by the New York area. Federal funding is based on the number of children under the age of five years whose family income is below the federal poverty line. 21 percent of children under five in Harris County meet this guideline.
“While Head Start has not received funding increases in the last few years, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allots new federal money to invest in the education of our children,” said Green. “We ask the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to direct newly available expansion funds to Harris County and begin to resolve the funding disparity.”
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